PORTLAND, Ore. – Jeff Sanders Promotions and the PGA TOUR on Friday announced WinCo Foods has entered into a three-year agreement to sponsor the Web.com Tour's final Regular Season tournament, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, at Witch Hollow at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, beginning in 2014. The inaugural event will be played Aug. 18-24, 2014.
“All of us at WinCo Foods believe in giving back to the communities in which we serve our customers,” said WinCo Foods President and CEO Steven Goddard. “Partnering with the PGA TOUR in bringing the final Regular Season Web.com Tour event to Portland and Pumpkin Ridge is very exciting but most importantly it gives us the unique opportunity to help those in need. We are looking forward to a great week of golf as the future stars of the PGA TOUR compete while supporting local charities.”
Given its position on the Web.com Tour schedule, the WinCo Foods Portland Open will receive national and international focus from the golf community as it represents the final opportunity to finish among the top-25 Regular Season money winners for 2014. At the conclusion of play on Aug. 24th a WinCo Foods Portland Open champion will be crowned and those 25 leading money earners will have secured half of the 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the 2014-15 season.
An additional 25 cards will be up for grabs at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals that will immediately follow the WinCo Foods Portland Open in September. Priority ranking, which is used to form PGA TOUR fields, for all 50 card earners will be determined at the Finals based on a separate four-event money list.
The Web.com Tour, which showcases the future stars of the PGA TOUR, became the path to the PGA Tour in 2013, with all 50 TOUR cards now coming through the Web.com Tour.
Alumni of the Web.com Tour have won 357 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, 17 major championships, and account for three out of four PGA TOUR members. Last year’s 12-man U.S. Ryder Cup team fielded nine graduates from the Web.com Tour. Tour alumni include 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, 2012 British Open champion Ernie Els, 2012 FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker and 2011 PGA Championship victor Keegan Bradley.
"We welcome WinCo Foods to the PGA TOUR family of tournament sponsors and are really looking forward to conducting our final Regular Season event at Pumpkin Ridge, beginning next August," said Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee. "As the final full-field event, players’ futures will be impacted by what happens there and golf fans of the Pacific Northwest will have a front-row seat for some intense PGA TOUR-level competition. And with Jeff Sanders Promotions running the event, we know the tournament’s environment will be fun and family friendly and its impact on charity and the Portland community significant.”
"Year-in and year-out, the Web.com Tour produces great players who have impact on the PGA TOUR and Ben Crane is a model example of one," Calfee added. "We thank him for accepting the Tournament Host role and committing his support to the WinCo Foods Portland Open."
Beaverton native and University of Oregon graduate Ben Crane, who played and won twice on the Web.com Tour and is a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, has agreed to be the tournament’s official PGA TOUR host.
“This is great news that the Web.com Tour will be playing at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland next year for the Regular Season-ending WinCo Foods Portland Open,” Crane said. “I've seen the phenomenal growth of this Tour first-hand, originally as a Web.com Tour member in 2000 and 2001, and over the last 12 years while competing on the PGA TOUR. There is no doubt the Web.com Tour has had a significant impact on the competition we see on the PGA TOUR today. I encourage all golf fans in Oregon and Southwest Washington to make a point of coming to Pumpkin Ridge next August to experience the Web.com Tour, and make sure you bring the kids!"
The WinCo Foods Portland Open will implement the popular and highly successful TICKETS Fore CHARITY™ program in which over 200 local non-profit organizations will sell tournament tickets and ticket packages, keeping 100% of the ticket sales revenue for their organization. The event will also incorporate a “Golf Fore Kids” theme, which will focus on benefitting youth and families throughout the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington. The WinCo Foods Portland Open will provide an estimated economic benefit to the local economy of six to eight million dollars annually.
For the first time in 20 years an official PGA TOUR event will be played at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The 1994 Nike Tour Championship was played at Ghost Creek. (The Nike Tour is now the Web.com Tour). The WinCo Foods Portland Open will be played on the highly acclaimed Witch Hollow Course at Pumpkin Ridge, site of Tiger Woods’ historic and electrifying three-peat of the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship.
The PGA TOUR first came to Portland in 1936 and played 13 tournaments there with the last one held in 1966. Winners in Portland over the years include Sam Snead (1944), Ben Hogan (1945), Billy Casper (1959, ’60, ’61) and Jack Nicklaus (1962, ’64, ‘65).
The WinCo Foods Portland Open will be broadcast in the U.S. all four days on Golf Channel and be seen in 186 other countries/territories.
Web.com Tour professionals will compete for a purse of $800,000, ranking it near the top of all Tour events on the 2014 schedule. The tournament winner will receive $144,000.
The event will be produced by Beaverton, Ore.-based sports management company Jeff Sanders Promotions (JSP), a national leader in the golf event management industry. The WinCo Foods Portland Open will be the 29th Web.com Tour event managed by JSP across America. JSP’s resume includes management of the Albertsons Boise Open Presented by Kraft since 1990 and the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters. In addition, JSP managed the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship and 1997 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, both contested at Witch Hollow at Pumpkin Ridge.
Former PGA TOUR player and Executive Director Jeff Sanders said, “I am thrilled the PGA TOUR is back in Portland. Web.com Tour players have proven they can compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. This is an exciting day for our city, the many local charities that will benefit, and the thousands of golf fans who remember but have missed watching TOUR-caliber golf at Pumpkin Ridge. The excitement will once again fill the air at Witch Hollow next year.”